Are Haunted Houses Too Scary for Christians?

 

It’s honestly been years since I went to a “scary” haunted house for Halloween. I think the last time must have been in my teens. Back then, I didn’t even consider myself to be a Christian. But here I am now as a Christian adult with kids and I’m wondering if haunted houses are just too scary for Christians.

The Haunted House Effect

I don’t really mean to suggest that Christians are somehow less able to handle the scary sounds, the bucket of spaghetti “brains”, and other traditional haunted house parlor tricks. I’m really just wondering if we can handle the concept of a haunted house and whether it’s something we’re ok with our kids experiencing. 

Certainly, in extreme cases, there have been kids who have been assaulted, molested, or almost-literally frightened to death inside them. I think this is the rare exception. Kids who are too young have also come out extremely scared and wishing they never went inside. This is largely a problem of parents giving into their younger children even though they know it’s not a good idea for their age.

This teenager is a Christian. Should they go to a haunted house this Halloween? 

So, let’s set the scope for this inquiry. Let’s assume we are talking about at least a teenager. And let’s also assume this teenager is a Christian. Should they go to a haunted house this Halloween? 

I thought for a while about this. Although I can’t think of any explicit, beneficial reasons TO go to one, I’d say Christians are OK to go to a haunted house. But I do have 3 reasons why I think it’s NOT the best choice. 

3 Reasons Why Haunted Houses are NOT OK for Christians

  1. I can think of about 500 better ways for my children to spend their time
  2. I wouldn’t exactly call going to a haunted house “edifying”
  3. The risk of lingering fear or trauma is just not worth the short-term, fear-induced adrenaline rush

How Will You Respond? 

So, this Halloween, if your teenager asks if they can go to a haunted house, how do you plan to respond? I’d love to hear your thoughts for or against. Or maybe you have a story of a good or bad haunted house experience. Please share it using the comments below.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White


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Comments

  1. alan leonard says

    It’s not just haunted houses, in the past few years there have been a lot of horror movies that are intensely fear inducing. They are not like the old time, often silly horror movies like Frankenstein or Dracula, they have a realism about them that penetrates. You mention a “short term, fear inducing adrenaline rush”. . . but there seems to be something darker to this than say a roller coaster ride. And all of it miles removed from ” whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Last night, received an email invitation from a local church to their Halloween costume party and Haunted House run by the youth group. They’re trying to do a goodwill public outreach but it doesn’t seem like at the end of things that it is a good message.

  2. Jonathan says

    Oh, so American kids go to REAL haunted houses? Wow, well as long as you do not scare the children, giving them lifelong trauma, it may be okay to have a good time, but I am not sure about playing with the unknown… I mean, without knowing what it is all about. What I think is so strange is that this old tradition of All Saints Day has been distorted and mixed up with ancient Gaelic traditions, the paranormal and spiritism and has become so popular in the U.S, not so in Europe. Here in Sweden as in all former Catholic countries, All Saints Day is a weekend when we light candles at the cemetery or memorial garden to remember our loved ones who have gone before. (We are not praying for the dead.) Nothing more, absolutely nothing about Halloween, but stores and shopping malls are every year trying to sell the concept with a lot of advertising and fancy dresses. But hey, psst! a secret, I have actually been a Ghost Hunter for real and Paranormal Investigator in my past (Ghost Hunters International, local groups in Sweden, Germany, England, Scotland and Ireland), with Electronic Voice Phenomenon, Instrumental trans-communication, strange recordings and weird stuff happening with the electricity and so on. I can tell, that in 99,99% of the cases, it is not about ghosts or spirits, but fantasies, cognitive dissonance, psychoses, religious ecstasy, unrealistic expectations, electronic devices, electro magnetic fields, running water taps, creaking doors and floors, and so on. Read more in my article “Thoughts on Attitudes, Exorcism, Demonology and EMF.” http://tzedaqyal.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/thoughts-on-attitudes-exorcism-demonology-and-emf/ It’s a weird holiday, but fun to watch the scary movies, here’s more and I know some scary documentaries too. By the way, when you have watched all movies, then listen to the Coast To Coast AM and their Halloween ghost stories for this season, an annual event, especially if Art Bell will be the one who guides us through the night! (Google that.) Here’s my scary list: – “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960), American comedy film directed by Roger Corman. Written by Charles B. Griffith, the film is a farce about an inadequate young florist’s assistant who cultivates a plant that feeds on human flesh and blood. – “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986), science fiction comedy horror film directed by Frank Oz. It is a film adaptation of the off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name. – “The Happy Haunting of America” (TV documentary 1997). Lots of scares, lots of fun, lots of interviews with your favorite horror icons. A mocking documentary that takes you on a trip to 40 of America’s best haunted attractions and presents interviews with 30 celebrities, experts and horror filmmakers. – “Hell House”, a 2001 documentary on an annually performed event in October by the youth members of Trinity Church (Assemblies of God) in Cedar Hill, Texas, seen by over 10,000 visitors each year. – “Left Behind” (2001), The Biblical prophecy of Armageddon begins when the rapture instantly takes all believers from Earth. A reporter left behind learns that anti-christ will soon take power. – “Straight Man in a Gay World”, (TV episode 2005), a straight “homophobic” man from Michigan goes to San Fransisco Cstro district! – “Jesus Camp”, a 2006 American documentary film directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing about a charismatic Christian summer camp, where children spend their summers learning and practicing to become the next Billy Graham. Have a good All Saints Day, and be safe, everyone!

  3. Paula Eslick says

    Before becoming saved I was all for haunted houses, decorating for Halloween with scary stuff, etc…I grew up trick or treating. Since becoming saved God has convicted me of these type things, anything celebrating witchcraft, demons, the undead, etc I feel is an invitation to Satan to come on into our lives. We already have enough issues with Satan, why give him any more chances to do his work. As a believer I try to filter what I read, watch on TV, music I listen to, what movies I watch (language, sexual situations, demons, etc) As a believer Ihave gotten rid of a good portion of my movie, music & book collections. I am not trying to condemn anyone, but these are the choices I have gladly made after God spoke to me heart & in many cases convicted me. And I find I do not miss those things at all.

  4. Chels says

    Kids are going to watch horror movies and attend haunted houses no matter what. Whether they are Christian or not. Odds are the people they are going with may not all be Christian. And the odds that they will talk about their experiences in a positive way are even slimmer. Why not take a core group of kids that we know well, have good conversation before hand and then process their experience through their own faith afterward? Of couse I agree, there are better things to do and better ways to spend money, however, if they are going to go anyway, why not make it Christ-filled.

  5. Kate says

    If they are going to do it anyway, why not make it Christ filled?? So if they are going to have sex… Ask them to pray before and after? I mean if they are going to do it anyway let’s make it Christ filled. Unbelievable. No wonder the world is in such turmoil. Stand up Christians and put your foot down!!! Doesn’t Jesus deserve that from you!! Wow. My hear is so saddened. Haunted houses may be just entertainment, but what you see and hear come into your mind at that is where it all starts. FEAR IS NOT OF GOD!!! If a Chrostian has to ask if a haunted house is appropriate then I believe those Christians need to reevaluate their faith and walk. Smh… It’s time to her real ppl!!

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